Spin doc­tor

The Weekend Australian - Review - - Music Reviews - Iain Shedden

AS Wally de Backer con­tin­ues his in­cred­i­ble jour­ney as the most suc­cess­ful artist in the world called Go­tye, it seems there is no end to the ac­co­lades for the charm­ing Aussie song­writer, and in par­tic­u­lar for his global hit with Kim­bra, Some­body That I Used To Know. Yet it will be in­ter­est­ing to see if the song’s pop­u­lar­ity works in its favour or against it when the APRA Song of the Year tro­phy is handed out in Syd­ney on May 28. Last week the Aus­tralasian Per­form­ing Right As­so­ci­a­tion is­sued the list of con­tenders for this year’s top prize at the an­nual APRA awards, the night of nights on the lo­cal mu­sic in­dus­try cal­en­dar for com­posers and song­writ­ers. Only in the past few years has APRA is­sued a short­list of the nom­i­nees, no doubt to stim­u­late de­bate and me­dia at­ten­tion around the mer­its or oth­er­wise of the con­tenders. This year, how­ever, there are a stag­ger­ing 30 songs on the short­list, 10 more than last year, some of them with as many as seven writ­ers cred­ited. Why such a long short­list? It ap­pears the vot­ing, which is con­ducted by APRA mem­bers, re­sulted in a few ti­tles get­ting the same num­ber of votes, mean­ing that there was a top 23 rather than a top 20, so it was de­cided to ex­tend the cut-off point up­wards to the next round num­ber. Per­haps for that rea­son it is such an eclec­tic col­lec­tion of songs. Fair enough; Go­tye is a hot con­tender with I Feel Bet­ter on the list as well as Some­body That I Used to Know. Don Walker, Kasey Cham­bers, her hus­band Shane Ni­chol­son, the Jezabels, Kim­bra and the Liv­ing End are just some of the other names aim­ing to be on the shorter list of five to be an­nounced a few weeks be­fore the awards cer­e­mony. Good also to see a few up-and-com­ers, such as Melbourne-based Lanie Lane for her (Oh Well) That’s What You Get (Fall­ing in Love With a Cow­boy) and Bris­bane rock band the Last Di­nosaurs. And what a coup it would be for the coun­try’s hir­sute mu­sic afi­ciona­dos if Ade­laide’s Joel Mcmillan were to be the one to step up to the podium at the Syd­ney Ex­hi­bi­tion and Con­ven­tion Cen­tre in May. Surely it is too much to hope that Mcmillan and his band the Beards will take top hon­our for their time­less clas­sic You Should Con­sider Hav­ing Sex With a Bearded Man. Stranger things have hap­pened. NEIL Young has changed tack fre­quently dur­ing his lengthy ca­reer, but surely it will have caught even the most stud­ied devo­tee off guard to dis­cover that the great Cana­dian song­writer is do­ing a ver­sion of God Save the Queen on his next al­bum; and it’s not the Sex Pis­tols song, it’s the an­them. Young and side­kicks Crazy Horse are to re­lease an al­bum called Amer­i­cana in June, on which they pay trib­ute to clas­sic tra­di­tional Amer­i­can folk fare such as Oh Su­san­nah, Tom Doo­ley, Way­farin’ Stranger and This Land is Your Land. The Bri­tish an­them scrapes in be­cause the song was sung in the US by early set­tlers be­fore in­de­pen­dence, says Young. spin­doc@ theaus­tralian.com.au

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